THE NEW WORLD.
LONDON PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO. NEW-STREET SQUARE.
THE NEW WORLD
TWO TRAVELLERS FROM THE OLD
IN THE AUTUMN OF 1858.
LONDON LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, LONGMANS, & ROBERTS. 1859
I. L. T.
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MY DEAR LITTLE GIRL,
I dedicate this little book to you; the letters it contains were meant to let you know how your father and I and your brother William fared in a rapid journey, during the autumn of last year, through part of Canada and the United States, and are here presented to you in another form more likely to ensure their preservation.
You are not yet old enough fully to understand them, but the time will, I trust, come when it will give you pleasure to read them. I can safely say they were written without any intention of going beyond yourself and our own family circle; but some friends have persuaded me to publish them, for which I ought, I suppose, to ask your pardon, as the letters have become your property.
The reason which has made your father and me consent to this is, that we scarcely think that travellers in general have done justice to our good brothers in America. We do not mean to say that we have accomplished this, or that others have not fairly described what they have seen; but different impressions of a country are made on persons who see it under different aspects, and who travel under different circumstances.
When William, for example, was separated from us he found the treatment he received very unlike what it was while he travelled in our company; and as many bachelors pass through the country and record their experience, it is not surprising if some of them describe things very differently to what we do.
The way to arrive at truth in this, as in all other cases, is to hear what every one has to say, and to compare one account with another; and if these letters to you help others to understand better the nature and character of the country and the people of America, my object in making them public will be attained.
With some few alterations, the letters are left just as you received them, for I have been anxious not to alter in any way what I have told you of my First Impressions. When, therefore, I have had reason to change my opinions, I have thought it better to subjoin a foot-note; and in this way, too, I have sometimes added a few things which I forgot at the time to mention in the letters themselves.
There is only one thing more to tell you, which is, that though I wrote and signed all the letters myself many parts are of your father's dictating. I leave you and others to judge which these are. Without his help I never could have sent you such full accounts of the engine of the Newport steamer, or of our journey across the Alleghanies and other such subjects; and you will, I know, like the letters all the better for his having taken a part in them.
Believe me ever, Your affectionate Mother.
Voyage.—Arrival at New York.—Burning of Quarantine Buildings.—Cable Rejoicings.—Description of the Town Page 1
West Point.—Steamer to Newport.—Newport.—Bishop Berkeley.— Bathing.—Arrival at Boston 9
Journey to Boston.—Boston.—Prison.—Hospital.—Springfield.— Albany.—Trenton Falls.—Journey to Niagara.—Niagara 28
Niagara.—Maid of the Mist.—Arrival at Toronto.—Toronto.—Thousand Islands.—Rapids of the St. Lawrence.—Montreal.—Victoria Bridge 58
Journey from Montreal to Quebec.—Quebec.—Falls of Montmorency.— Island Pond.—White Mountains.—Portland.—Return to Boston.—Harvard University.—Newhaven.—Yale University.—Return to New York 76
Destruction of the Crystal Palace.—Philadelphia.—Cemetery.—Girard College.—Baltimore.—American Liturgy.—Return to Philadelphia.— Penitentiary.—Return to New York 97
William's Departure.—Greenwood Cemetery.—Journey to Washington.— Arrangements for our Journey to the Far West.—Topsy 108
Washington.—Baptist Class-Meeting.—Public Buildings.—Venus by Daylight.—Baltimore and Ohio Railway.—Wheeling.—Arrival at Columbus 119
Journey from Wheeling to Columbus.—Fire in the Mountains.—Mr. Tyson's Stories.—Columbus.—Penitentiary.—Capitol—Governor Chase.—Charitable Institutions.—Arrival at Cincinnati 168
Cincinnati.—Mr. Longworth.—German Population.—"Over the Rhine."—Environs of Cincinnati.—Gardens.—Fruits.—Common Schools.—Journey to St. Louis 202
St. Louis.—Jefferson City.—Return to St. Louis.—Alton.— Springfield.—Fires on the Prairies.—Chicago—Granaries.—Packing Houses.—Lake Michigan.—Arrival at Indianapolis 224
Indianapolis.—Louisville.—Louisville and Portland Canal.— Portland.—The Pacific Steamer.—Journey to Lexington.—Ashland.— Slave Pens at Lexington.—Return to Cincinnati.—Pennsylvania Central Railway.—Return to New York 239
New York.—Astor Library.—Cooper Institute.—Bible House.—Dr. Rae.—Dr. Tyng.—Tarrytown.—Albany.—Sleighing.—Final Return to Boston.—Halifax.—Voyage Home.—Conclusion 279
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THE NEW WORLD.
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VOYAGE.—ARRIVAL AT NEW YORK.—BURNING OF QUARANTINE BUILDINGS.—CABLE REJOICINGS.—DESCRIPTION OF THE TOWN.
New York, September 3, 1858.
We landed here yesterday afternoon, at about six o'clock, after a very prosperous voyage; and, as the Southampton mail goes to-morrow, I must begin this letter to you to-night. I had fully intended writing to you daily during the voyage, but I was quite laid up for the first week with violent sea sickness, living upon water-gruel and chicken-broth. I believe I was the greatest sufferer in this respect on board; but the doctor was most attentive, and a change in the weather came to my relief on Sunday,—not that we had any rough weather, but there was rather more motion than suited me at first.
Papa and William were well throughout the voyage, eating and drinking and walking on deck all day. Our companions were chiefly Americans, and many of them were very agreeable and intelligent. Amongst the number I may mention the poet Bryant, who was returning home with his wife and daughter after a long visit to Europe; but they, too, have suffered much from sea sickness, and, as this is a great bar to all intercourse, I had not as much with them as I could have wished.
The north coast of Ireland delighted us much on our first Sunday. We passed green hills and high cliffs on our left, while we could see the distant outline of the Mull of Cantire, in Scotland, on our right. We had no service on that Sunday, but on the one following we had two services, which were read by the doctor; and we had two good sermons from two dissenting ministers. The second was preached by a Wesleyan from Nova Scotia, who was familiar with my father's name there. He was a good and superior man, and we had some interesting conversations with him.
We saw no icebergs, which disappointed me much; but we passed a few whales last Tuesday, spouting up their graceful fountains in the distance. One came very near the ship, and we had a distinct view of its enormous body. We had a good deal of fog when off Newfoundland, which obliged us to use the fog-whistle frequently; and a most dismal sounding instrument it is. The fog prevented our having any communication with Cape Race, from whence a boat would otherwise have come off to receive the latest news from England, and our arrival would have been telegraphed to New York.
The coast of Long Island came in sight yesterday, and our excitement was naturally great as we approached the American shore.
Before rounding Sandy Hook, which forms the entrance on one side to the bay of New York, we ran along the eastern coast of Long Island, which presents nothing very remarkable in appearance, although the pretty little bright town of Rockaway, with its white houses studded along the beach, and glittering in the sun, gave a pleasing impression of the country. This was greatly increased when, running up the bay, we came to what are called the Narrows, and had Staten Island on our left and Long Island on the right. The former, something like the Isle of Wight in appearance, is a thickly-wooded hill covered with pretty country villas, and the Americans were unceasing in their demands for admiration of the scenery.
Before entering the Narrows, indeed shortly after passing Sandy Hook, a little boat with a yellow flag came from the quarantine station to see if we were free from yellow fever and other disorders. There were many ships from the West Indies performing quarantine, but we were happily exempted, being all well on board. It was getting dark when we reached the wharf; and, after taking leave of our passenger friends, we landed, and proceeded to an adjoining custom-house, where, through the influence of one of our fellow-passengers, our boxes were not opened, but it was a scene of great bustle and confusion. After much delay we were at length hoisted into a wonderful old coach, apparently of the date of Queen Anne. We made a struggle with the driver not to take in more than our own party. Up, however, others mounted, and on we drove into a ferry-boat, which steamed us, carriage and all, across the harbour, for we had landed from the ship on the New Jersey side. After reaching New York by means of this ferry-boat, we still had to drive along a considerable part of Broadway, and finally reached this comfortable hotel—the Brevoort House—at about eight o'clock.
The master of the hotel shook hands with papa on entering, and again this morning treated him with the same republican familiarity. The hotel is very quiet, and not a specimen of the large kind, which we intend seeing later. We had fortunately secured rooms beforehand, as the town is very full, owing to the rejoicings at the successful laying of the cable, and many of our fellow-passengers were obliged to get lodgings where they could.
We found that Lord Napier was in the hotel, so we sent our letters to him, and had a long visit from him this morning.
Two topics seem at present to occupy the minds of everybody here; one, the successful laying of the cable, the other the burning of the quarantine buildings on Staten Island. We were quite unconscious, when passing the spot yesterday, that the whole of these buildings had been destroyed on the preceding night by an incendiary mob; for such we must style the miscreants, although they comprised a large portion, it is said, of the influential inhabitants of the place. The alleged reason was that the Quarantine establishment was a nuisance, and the residents had for months been boasting of their intention to destroy the obnoxious buildings. The miserable inmates would have perished in the flames, had not some, more charitable than the rest, dragged them from their beds. The Yellow Fever Hospital is destroyed, and the houses of the physicians and health officers are burnt to the ground. At the very same moment New York itself was the scene of the splendid festivities in honour of the successful laying of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, to which we have alluded.
We came in for the finale of these yesterday, when the streets were still much decorated. In Trinity Church we saw these decorations undisturbed: the floral ornaments in front of the altar were more remarkable, however, for their profusion than for their good taste. On a temporary screen, consisting of three pointed gothic arches, stood a cross of considerable dimensions, the screen and cross being together about fifty feet high. The columns supporting the arches, the arches themselves, and all the lines of construction, were heavily covered with fir, box, holly, and other evergreens, so as to completely hide all trace of the wooden frame. The columns and arches of the church were also decorated with wreaths and garlands of flowers.
On a panel on the temporary structure already mentioned was the inscription, "GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN," all done in letters of flowers of different colours; the cross itself being covered with white roses and lilies. In the streets were all sorts of devices, a very conspicuous one being the cable slung between two rocks, and Queen Victoria and the President standing, looking very much astonished at each other from either side. The absurdity of all this was, that the cable had really by this time come to grief: at least, on the morning after our landing, an unsuccessful attempt was made to transmit the news of our arrival to our friends in England. It was rather absurd to see the credit the Americans took to themselves for the success, such as it was, of the undertaking.
Besides seeing all this, we have to-day driven and walked about the town a good deal, and admire it much. It is very Parisian in the appearance of its high houses, covered with large bright letterings; and the shops are very large and much gayer looking on the outside than ours; but, on examination, we were disappointed with their contents. The streets seem badly paved, and are consequently noisy, and there are few fine buildings or sights of any kind; but the dwelling-houses are not unfrequently built of white marble, and are all handsome and substantial. In our drive to-day we were much struck with the general appearance of the streets and avenues, as the streets which run parallel to Broadway are called. The weather has been sultry, but with a good deal of wind; and the ladies must think it hot, as most of them appear at breakfast in high dresses with short sleeves, and walk about in this attire with a slight black lace mantle over their shoulders, their naked elbows showing through. We go to-morrow to West Point, on the Hudson River, to spend Sunday, and return here on Monday, on which day William leaves us to make a tour in the White Mountains, and he is to join us at Boston on Monday week.
You must consider this as the first chapter of my Journal, which I hope now to continue regularly.
 The admiration thus claimed for the scenery was sometimes so extravagant as to make us look for a continuance of it, a reproach of this kind being so often made against the Americans; but we are bound to add this note, to say that we very seldom met afterwards with anything of the kind, and the expressions used on this occasion were hardly, after all, more than the real beauty of the scenery warranted.
WEST POINT.—STEAMER TO NEWPORT.—NEWPORT.—BISHOP BERKELEY.—BATHING.—ARRIVAL AT BOSTON.
Brevoort House, 5th Avenue, New York, 8th Sept., 1858.
My letter to you of the 3rd instant gave you an account of our voyage, and of our first impressions of this city. In the afternoon of the 4th, William went by steamboat to West Point, on the river Hudson, and we went by railway. This was our first experience of an American Railway, and it certainly bore no comparison in comfort either to our own, or to those we have been so familiar with on the Continent. The carriages are about forty feet long, without any distinction of first and second classes: the benches, with low backs, carrying each two people, are arranged along the two sides, with a passage down the middle. The consequence is, that one may be brought into close contact with people, who, at home, would be in a third-class carriage. There are two other serious drawbacks in a long journey; the one being that there is no rest for the head, and therefore no possible way of sleeping comfortably; the other, that owing to the long range of windows on either side, the unhappy traveller may be exposed to a thorough draught, without any way of escape, unless by closing the window at his side, if he is fortunate enough to have a seat which places it within his reach. Another serious objection is the noise, which is so great as to make conversation most laborious. They are painstaking in their care of the luggage, for besides pasting on labels, each article has a numbered check attached to it, a duplicate of which is given to the owner; time is saved in giving up the tickets, which is done without stoppage, there being a free passage from one end of the train to the other. This enables not only ticket-takers, but sellers of newspapers and railway guides, to pass up and down the carriages; iced water is also offered gratis.
The road to Garrison, where we had to cross the river, runs along the left bank of the Hudson, a distance of fifty miles, close to the water's edge nearly the whole way, and we were much struck by the magnificence of the scenery. The river, generally from two to three miles in breadth, winds between ranges of rocks and hills, mostly covered with wood, and sometimes rising to a height of 800 feet. Owing to the windings and the islands, the river frequently takes the appearance of a lake; while the clearness of the atmosphere, and the colouring of the sunset, added to the beauty of the scene. We travelled at the rate of twenty miles an hour, and arrived in darkness at Garrison. Here we crossed the river in a ferry-boat to West Point, and found William, who had come at the same speed in the steamer. The hotel being full, we accepted the offer of rooms made us by Mr. Osborn, an American friend of papa's, at a little cottage close to the hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Osborn and their two children had passed some weeks there, and said they frequently thus received over-flowings from the hotel, and but for their hospitality on this occasion, we should have been houseless for the night. This cottage belonged to the landlord of the hotel, and there being no cooking accommodation in it, we all took our meals in the public dining-room. The hotel itself is a very spacious building, with a wide verandah at each end. We found an endless variety of cakes spread for tea, which did not exactly suit our appetites, but we made the best of it, and then went into the public drawing-room, where we found all the guests of the hotel assembled, and the room brilliantly lighted. Here balls, or as they call them "hops," take place three or four times a week. The scene is thoroughly foreign, more German than French. The ladies' hoops are extravagant in circumference; the colouring of their dresses is violent and heavy; and there is scarcely a man to be seen without moustachios, a beard, a straw hat, and a cigar. West Point is the Sandhurst of the United States, and is also the nearest summer rendezvous of the fashionables of New York. It is beautifully situated on the heights above the river, and the Military Academy, about ten minutes' drive from the hotel, commands a most splendid view of the Hudson, and the hills on either side.
We went to the chapel on Sunday the 5th, where we joined, for the first time, in the service in America. It differs but little from our own, and was followed by a not very striking sermon. The Holy Communion was afterwards administered, and it was a comfort to us to join in it on this our first Sunday in America. The cadets filled the centre of the chapel, and are a very good-looking set of youths, wearing a pretty uniform, the jacket being pale grey with large silver buttons. We dined at four o'clock at the table d'hote, in a room capable of holding about four hundred. We sat next to the landlord, who carved at one of the long tables. The dinner was remarkably well cooked in the French style, but most deficient in quantity, and we rose from table nearly as hungry as we sat down. Some of the ladies appeared at dinner in evening dresses, with short sleeves (made very short) and low bodies, a tulle pelerine being stretched tight over their bare necks. In some cases the hair was dressed with large ornamental pins and artificial flowers, as for an evening party. We met them out walking later in the evening, with light shawls or visites on their shoulders, no bonnets, and large fans in their hands. This toilette was fully accounted for by the heat, the thermometer being at 80 deg. in the shade. Many of the younger women were very pretty, and pleasing in their manners.
We left West Point early on Monday morning, the 6th, taking the steamboat back to New York, leaving William to pursue his journey to the White Mountains and Montreal alone, and we are to meet him again at Boston next week. The steamboat was well worth seeing, being a wonderful floating house or palace, three stories high, almost consisting of two or three large saloons, much gilt and decorated, and hung with prints and filled with passengers. The machinery rises in the centre of the vessel, as high nearly as the funnel. We went at the rate of twenty miles an hour. We again enjoyed the beauties of the river, and could this time see both sides, which we were unable to do on the railway, by which means too we saw many pretty towns and villas which we had missed on Saturday. We were back at the hotel by twelve o'clock, and are to make our next move to-morrow afternoon to Newport, a sea-bathing place, a little way north of this. We are doing this at the strong recommendation of Lord Napier, who says, at this time of the year Newport is worth seeing, as giving a better idea of an American watering-place than Saratoga, where the season is now drawing to a close.
We have now become more familiar with this place, and I think are beginning to feel the total want of interest of any sort beyond a general admiration of the handsome wide streets and well-built houses. The Brevoort House is in the fifth avenue, which, in point of fashion, answers to Belgrave Square with us, and consists of a long line of houses of large dimensions. A friend, who accompanied us in our drive yesterday evening, pointed out many of the best of them as belonging to button-makers, makers of sarsaparilla, and rich parvenus, who have risen from the shop counter. He took us to his own house in this line, which was moderate in size, and prettily fitted up. He is a collector of pictures, and has one very fine oil painting of a splendid range of mountainous scenery, in the Andes. It is by Church, a rising young American, whose view of the Falls of Niagara was exhibited this year in London. We have made frequent use of the omnibus here; the fares are half the price of the London ones, and the carriages are very clean and superior in every way to ours. Great trust is shown in the honesty of the passengers, there being no one to receive payment at the door, but a notice within directs the money to be paid to the driver, which is done through a hole in the roof, and he presents his fingers to receive it, without apparently knowing how many passengers have entered. We frequently meet woolly-headed negroes in our walks, and they seem to form a large proportion of the servants, both male and female, and of porters and the like. We are disappointed in the fruit. The peaches are cheap, and in great quantities, but they are very inferior to ours in flavour, and the melons are also tasteless. The water-melons are cut in long slices and sold in the streets, and the people eat them as they walk along. The great luxury of the place is ice, which travels about the streets in carts, the blocks being three or four feet thick, and a glass of iced water is the first thing placed on the table at each meal. The cookery at this hotel is French, and first rate. We have had a few dishes that are new to us. The corn-bread and whaffles are cakes made principally of Indian-corn; and the Okra-vegetable, which was to us new, is cut into slices to flavour soup. Lima beans are very good; we have also had yams, and yesterday tasted the Cincinnati champagne, which we thought very poor stuff.
Fillmore House, Newport, Rhode Island, September 13th.—We left New York on Thursday afternoon, and embarked in a Brobdingnagian steamboat, which it would not be very easy to describe. The cabin is on the upper deck, so that at either end you can walk out on to the stern or bow of the vessel; it is about eleven feet high, and most splendidly fitted up and lighted at night with four ormolu lustres, each having eight large globe lights. We paced the length of the cabin and made it 115 paces, so that walking nine times up and down made a nice walk of a mile. The engine of the steamboat in America rises far above the deck in the centre of the vessel, so this formed an obstruction to our seeing the whole length, unless on each side of the engine, where a broad and clear passage allowed a full view from end to end; but instead of taking away from the fine effect, the engine-room added greatly thereto, for it was divided from the cabin, on one side, by a huge sheet of plate glass, through which the most minute workings of the engines could be seen. There was in front a large clock, and dials of every description, to show the atmospheric pressure, the number of revolutions of the wheel, &c. This latter dial was a most beautiful piece of mechanism. Its face showed six digits, so that the number of revolutions could be shown up to 999,999. The series of course began with 000,001, and at the end of the first turn the nothings remained, and the 1 changed first into 2, then into 3, &c., till at the end of the tenth revolution the two last digits changed together, and it stood at 000,010, and at the 1,012th revolution it stood at 001,012.
To go back to the saloon itself; the walls and ceiling were very much carved, gilt, and ornamented with engravings which, though not equal to our Albert Durers, or Raphael Morghens at home, were respectable modern performances, and gave a drawing-room look to the place. The carpet was gorgeous in colour, and very pretty in design, and the arm-chairs, of which 120 were fixtures ranged round the wall, besides quantities dispersed about the room, were uniform in make, and very comfortable. They were covered with French woven tapestry, very similar to the specimens we bought at Pau. There were no sofas, which was doubtless wise, as they might have been turned to sleeping purposes. Little passages having windows at the end, ran out of the saloon, each opening into little state cabins on either side, containing two berths each, as large as those on board the Africa, and much more airy; but the wonderful part was below stairs. Under the after-part of the saloon was the general sleeping cabin for the ladies who could not afford to pay for state cabins, of which, however, there were nearly a hundred. Our maid slept in this ladies' cabin, and her berth was No. 306, but how many more berths there may have been here we cannot tell. This must have occupied about a quarter of the space underneath the upper saloon. The remaining three quarters of the space constituted the gentlemen's sleeping cabin, and this was a marvellous sight. The berths are ranged in four tiers, forming the sides of the cabin, which was at least fourteen feet high; and as these partook of the curve of the vessel, the line of berths did the same, so as not to be quite one over the other. There were muslin curtains in front of the berths, forming, when drawn, a wall of light floating drapery along each side of the cabin, and this curved appearance of the wall was very pretty; but the prettiest effect was when the supper tables were laid out and the room brilliantly lighted up. Two long tables stretched the whole length, on which were placed alternately bouquets and trash of the sweet-cake kind, though the peaches, water-melons, and ices were very good, and as we had luckily dined at New York, we were satisfied. The waiters were all niggers, grinning from ear to ear, white jacketed, active, and clever, about forty strong. The stewardesses, also of African origin, wore hoops of extravagant dimensions, and open bodies in front, displaying dark brown necks many of them lighted up by a necklace or diamond cross, rivalling Venus herself if she were black. They were really fearful objects to contemplate, for there was a look of display about them which read one a severe lesson on female vanity, so frightful did they appear, and yet rigged out like modern beauties. It was the most lovely afternoon conceivable, and we stayed on deck, sometimes on the bow and sometimes on the stern of the vessel, till long after dark. We preferred the bow, as there was no awning there, and the air was more fresh and invigorating.
The passage through Long Island Sound was like a river studded on both sides with villas and green lawns, something like the Thames between Kingston and Hampton, but much wider, and with higher background, and altogether on a larger scale. When, owing to the darkness, we lost sight of these, they were replaced by lighthouses constantly recurring. This huge Leviathan, considerably longer than the Africa, proceeded at the rate of about eighteen miles an hour, going half-speed only, on account of the darkness of the night. The full speed was twenty-four miles an hour, and remember this was not a high-pressure engine. After proceeding through this narrow channel for about 120 miles, we again entered the Atlantic, but speedily reached the narrow inlet which extends up to this place. You may wonder at our having been able to make such minute observations upon the saloon, &c.; but having tried our state cabin, and not relishing it, we paced up and down the saloon, and occupied by turns most of its 120 chairs, till three o'clock in the morning brought us to the end of our voyage. There was no real objection to the cabin, beyond the feeling that it was not worth while to undress and lie down for so short a time; besides which, papa was in one of his fidgetty states, which he could only relieve by exercise.
But how now to describe Newport? Papa is looking out of the window, and facing it is an avenue of trees running between two lawns of grass as green as any to be seen in England, though certainly the grass is coarser than at home. In these lawns stand houses of every shape and form, and we, being au troisieme have a distant view of the sea, which looks like the Mediterranean studded with ships. As this place (the Brighton of New York) stands on a small island, this sea view is discernible from all sides of the house. We walked yesterday a long way round the cliffs, which are covered with houses far superior to the average villas in England, the buildings being of a brilliant white and sometimes stone colour, and of elaborate architecture, with colonnades, verandahs, balconies, bay windows of every shape and variety, and all built of wood. The churches are some of them very beautiful, both Gothic and Grecian. A Gothic one to which we went yesterday afternoon, was high, high, high in its decorations, but not in the least in the doctrine we heard, which was thoroughly sound on "God so loved the world," &c. The fittings up were very simple, and the exterior of the church remarkable for the grace and simplicity of its outline; for being, like the houses, built entirely of wood, elaborate carving cannot be indulged in.
The church which we went to in the morning offered a great contrast to this, the interior being fitted up with high old-fashioned pews, like many a village church at home; but besides this, a further interest attached to Trinity Church, as being the one in which Dean Berkeley used to preach, and from its remaining unaltered in its internal appearance from what it was in his days. The pulpit is still the same, and there is still in the church the organ which he presented to it, at least the original case of English oak is there, and part of the works are the same, though some pipes have lately been added. Independently of Trinity Church, the town of Newport has many associations connected with Bishop Berkeley's memory, the place where he lived, and where he wrote his "Minute Philosopher" being still pointed out, as well as the spot on the beach where he used to sit and meditate. The most striking buildings, however, are the hotels, one of which, the "Ocean House," is the largest building of the kind we have ever seen. It has very much the appearance of the huge convents one sees in Italy, and, standing on the top of the cliffs, it has a most remarkable effect. There are some very good streets, but the greatest part of the town consists of detached houses standing in gardens. There are very few stone buildings of any kind. The hotel we are in is not the largest, but is considered the best, and in the height of the season the place must be very gay.
The next, perhaps the greatest, feature here is the bathing. There are three beaches formed round a succession of points, the whole forming a lovely drive on dry hard sand; and such a sun as we gazed upon yesterday setting over these distant sands passes description. On the first of these beaches are ranged more than a hundred bathing machines at about a hundred yards above high-water mark, looking like sentry boxes on a large scale, with fine dry sand between them and the sea. We went down on Saturday to see the bathing, which is here quite a public affair; and having fixed our eyes on a machine about a dozen yards off, we saw two damsels enter it, while a young gentleman, who accompanied them went into an adjoining one. In a few minutes he came out attired in his bathing dress and knocked at the ladies' door. As the damsels were apparently not ready, he went into the water to wait their coming, and in due time they sallied forth dressed in thick red baize trowsers and a short dress of the same colour and material, drawn in at the waist by a girdle. The gentleman's toilet was coloured trowsers and a tight flannel jacket without sleeves. He wore no hat, but the ladies had on very piquante straw hats trimmed with velvet, very like the Nice ones, to preserve them from a coup de soleil. They joined each other in the water, where they amused themselves together for a long time; a gentleman friend's presence on these occasions is essential, from the Atlantic surf being sometimes very heavy; but the young gentleman in question did not enact the part of Mr. Jacob, of Cromer, not being professional. The number of bathers is generally very great, though now the season being nearly over there are not many, but there were still enough to let us judge of the fun that is said to go on.
There are few guests in this house now. A "hop" was attempted on Friday evening in the entrance hall, but the unhappy musicians exerted themselves in playing the Lancers' Quadrilles and all sorts of ugly jerking polkas without success, although an attempt at one quadrille, we were told, was made after we had retired for the night. The table d'hote toilettes here now are much quieter than they were at Westpoint, there being but two short sleevers yesterday at our two o'clock dinner. There is a large and handsome public drawing-room, where we can rock in rocking chairs (even the bed-rooms have them), or pass an hour in the evening. We are waited on at dinner by twelve darkies, as the niggers are called, marshalled by a head waiter as tall as papa and as black as his hat. A black thumb on your plate, as he hands it to you, is not pleasant. The housemaids are also niggeresses, and usually go about in coloured cotton sun bonnets. I now leave off, as we start for Boston in an hour.
Boston, 14th September, 1858.—We reached this yesterday, and were looking for William all the evening, but were disappointed at his non-appearance. He arrived here, however, at three this morning by the steamer, and is now recounting his adventures; he enjoyed himself very much, and looks all the better for his trip.
I ought to tell you of a few Yankee expressions, but I believe the most racy of them are used by the young men whom we do not come across: "I guess" is as common as "I think" in England. In directing you on any road or street, they tell you always to go "right away." If you do not feel very well, and think you are headachy, and that perhaps the weather is the cause, you are told you are "under the weather this morning." An excellent expression we think; so truly describing the state papa is often in when in dear old England. Then when you ask for information on any subject, the answer is frequently, "I can't say, sir, for I am not posted up on that subject." I asked an American gentleman, who was walking with us last night, not to walk quite so fast, and he answered, "Oh, I understand; you do not like that Yankee hitch." "Yankee" is no term of offence among themselves. Our friend certainly made use of the last expression as a quotation, but said it was a common one. They will "fix you a little ginger in your tea, if you wish it;" and they all, ladies and gentlemen, say, Sir, and Ma'am, at every sentence, and all through the conversation, giving a most common style to all they say; although papa declares it is Grandisonian, and that they have retained good manners, from which we have fallen off.
I reserve my description of the journey here, and of this town, for my next letter.
JOURNEY TO BOSTON.—BOSTON.—PRISON.—HOSPITAL.—SPRINGFIELD.—ALBANY.—TRENTON FALLS.—JOURNEY TO NIAGARA.—NIAGARA.
Delavan House, Albany, Sept. 15th, 1858.
I find it at present impossible to keep up my letter to you from day to day, but I am so afraid of arrears accumulating upon me that I shall begin this to-night, though it is late and we are to start early to-morrow. My last letter brought us up to our arrival at Boston, but I have not yet described to you our delightful journey there.
We left Newport with our friends, Mr. and Miss Morgan, at two o'clock on the 13th, and embarked in a small steamer, which took us up the Narragansett Bay to the interesting manufacturing town of Providence. We were about two hours on the steamer, and kept pace with the railway cars which were running on the shores parallel to us, and also going to Providence. The shores were very pretty, green and sloping, and dotted with bright and clean white wooden houses and churches. We passed the pretty-looking town of Bristol on our right. The day was lovely, brilliant and cool, with a delightfully bracing wind caused by our own speed through the water.
The boat brought us to Providence in time only to walk quickly to the railway, but we had an opportunity of getting a glance at the place. It is one of the oldest towns in America, dating as far back as 1635; but its original importance is much gone off, Boston, which is in some respects more conveniently situated, having carried off much of its trade. It is most beautifully situated on the Narragansett Bay, the upper end of which is quite encircled by the town, the city rising beyond it on a rather abrupt hill. Among the manufactories which still exist here, those for jewellery are very numerous.
We were now to try the railway for the second time in America, and having been told that the noise of the Hudson River line was caused by the reverberation of the rocks, and was peculiar to that railway, we hoped for better things on this, our second journey. We found, however, to our disappointment, that there was scarcely any improvement as to quiet; and as papa would eat a dinner instead of a luncheon at Newport, this and the noise together soon worried his poor head into a headache. We were confirmed in our dislike of the cars and railways, which have many serious faults. The one window over which papa and I (sitting together) were able to exercise entire control, opened like all others by pushing it up. A consequence of this arrangement is that the shoulder next to it is in danger of many a rheumatic twinge, being so exposed to cold; whereas, if the window opened the reverse way, air could be let in without the shoulder being thus exposed. I forgot in my description of the cars, to tell you that the seats are all reversible, enabling four persons to sit in pairs facing each other, and also if their opposite neighbours are amiably disposed, enabling each pair to rest their feet on the opposite seat, and if the opposite seat is empty, the repose across from seat to seat can be still more complete; but it is an odious contrivance, and neither repose nor rest can be thought of in these most uncomfortable carriages. Our seats faced the front door, and were close to it, which was very desirable as the air is clearer at that end, and not so loaded with the impurities of so large a mass of all classes as at the other end. We made various purchases as we went along. First came the ticket man, then cheap periodicals, then apples and pears, common bon-bons, and corn pop, of which I am trying to keep a specimen to send you. It is a kind of corn which is roasted on the fire, and in so doing, makes a popping noise, whence its name. It is pleasant to nibble. Then came iced water, highly necessary after the dry corn pop, and finally about twenty good and well-chosen books. Papa bought the Life of Stephenson.
But if we had room to grumble about discomforts within, we could only admire unceasingly without the very lovely road along which we were rapidly passing. The country consisted of undulating hills and slopes, prettily wooded, while bright white wooden houses and churches rapidly succeeded each other; the tall, sharp, white church spire contrasting beautifully with the dark back-ground of trees. It was delightful to see all the houses and cottages looking trim and neat, and in perfect order and repair. There was no such thing as dilapidation or poverty apparent, and the necessary repairs being so easily made, and the paint-brush readily available, all looked in the most perfect order. We could do little else than admire the scenery, and arrived at Boston at about six o'clock; the last few minutes of the journey being over a long wooden bridge or viaduct, which connects the mainland with the peninsula on which Boston is built. We found rooms ready for us at Tremont House. It is an enormous hotel, but the passages are close, and the rooms small. They were otherwise, however, very luxurious, for I had a small dressing-room out of my bedroom in which was a warm bath and a plentiful supply of hot and cold water laid on, besides other conveniences.
The next morning we found Lord and Lady Radstock in the breakfast-room; and papa accompanied Lord Radstock to see an hospital and prison.
The prison was the jail in which prisoners are detained before their trial, as well as when the duration of their imprisonment is not to be very long. Nothing, by papa's description, can exceed the excellency of the arrangements as far as the airiness and cleanliness of the cells, and even the comforts of the prisoners, are concerned, but the system is one of strict solitary confinement. Papa and Lord R. were surprised to find that some unhappy persons, who were kept there merely in the character of witnesses, were subject to the same rigorous treatment. Lord R. remarked, that he would take good care not to see any offence committed while in this country, but the jailor replied, "Oh, it would be quite enough if any one declared you saw it."
The hospital appears to be a model of what such an establishment ought to be. The wards are large, and, like the prison cells, very airy and clean, but with a great contrast in the character of the inmates for whose benefit they are provided. The great space which can usually be allotted, in a country like this, to institutions of this description, may perhaps give this hospital an advantage over one situated in the centre of a large city like London; though the semi-insular position of Boston must render space there comparatively valuable; but even this cannot take away from the merit of the people in showing such attention to the comforts of the needy sick. But what papa was most pleased with, was the provision made, on the plan which has been often tried in London, but never with the success it deserves, of an hospital, or home for the better classes of the sick. In the Boston hospital, patients are received who pay various sums up to ten dollars a week, for which they can have a comfortable room to themselves, and the best medical advice which the town affords. Papa and Lord R. were shown over this institution by Dr. Shaw, who was particularly attentive and obliging in answering all their questions.
We have since been exploring the town, and are quite delighted with it. It has none of the stiff regularity of New York, and the dwelling houses have an air of respectable quiet comfort which is much wanted in that city of wealth and display. The "stores" too are far more attractive than in New York, though their way of asking you to describe exactly what you want before they show you anything, except what is displayed, reminded me much of France. The city is altogether very foreign-looking in its appearance, and we are glad to think we are to return and make a better acquaintance with it later in the month. There is a delightful "common," as they call it, or park, which is well kept, and much prized by the inhabitants. Some beautiful elm trees in it are the largest we have seen in this country. Around one side are the best dwelling houses, some of which are really magnificent. The hotel, which is a very large one, has some beautiful public sitting rooms, greatly larger than those at the Brevoort House at New York, which is much more quiet in this respect; but these large rooms form an agreeable adjunct to an hotel, as they are in general well filled by the guests in the house, and yet sufficiently large to let each party have their own little coterie.
The character of the inhabitants for honesty seems to be called in question by the hotel-keepers, for all over these hotels there are alarming notices to beware of hotel thieves (probably English pickpockets); and in Boston we were not only told to lock our doors, but not to leave the key on the outside at any time, for fear it should be stolen.
Trenton Falls, Sept. 16th.—We left Boston on Tuesday afternoon, and got as far as Springfield, a town beautifully situated on the river Connecticut, and celebrated for a government institution of great importance, where they make and store up fire-arms. It is just 100 miles from Boston, and the railway runs through a beautifully wooded country the whole way, which made the journey appear a very short one. The villages we passed had the same character as those between Providence and Boston, and were, like them, built altogether of wood, generally painted white, but occasionally varied by stone-colour, and sometimes by a warm red or maroon colour picked out with white.
Springfield lay on our way to Albany, and as we had heard much of the beauty of the place, we were not deterred from sleeping there by being told that a great annual horse-fair was to be held there, but to secure rooms we telegraphed for them the day before. At the telegraph station they took upon themselves to say, there was no room at the established hotels, but that a new one on the "European plan" had been opened the day before, where we could be taken in; at this we greatly rejoiced, but to our dismay on arriving, we found its existence ignored by every one, and we were almost in despair when we bethought ourselves to go to the telegraph office, where we were directed to a small new cabaret, whose only merit was that we, being its first occupants, found everything most perfectly fresh and clean; but having been only opened that day, and the town being very full, everything was in disorder, and there were but two bedrooms for papa, myself, William, and Thrower. It became an anxious question how to appropriate them, as there was but one bed in one of the rooms, and two in the other. However, it was finally arranged, that papa and William should sleep in the double-bedded room, and Thrower and I together in the single bed. We called Thrower a lady of the party, and made her dine with us, for had they known she was only a "help," she might probably have fared badly.
After getting some dinner, at which the people are never at a loss in America, any more than in France, we sallied forth to see the town, and were exceedingly pleased with its appearance. Nothing could be brighter or fresher than it looked, and the flags and streamers across the street, and general lighting up, were foreign-looking and picturesque. Although the town is but small compared with those we had just left, the shops were spacious and well filled, and the things in them of a good quality. Hearing that there was a meeting at the City Hall, we went to it, little expecting to find such a splendid room. In order to reach it, we had to pass through a corridor, where the names of the officers of the corporation were painted over doors on each side, and were struck with amazement, when, at the end of this, we entered a hall, as light and bright-looking as St. James' Hall in London, and though not perhaps so large, still of considerable dimensions, and well proportioned. The walls were stone-colour, and the wood-work of the roof and light galleries were buff, picked out with the brightest scarlet. On a platform at one end of the room were seated the Mayor of Springfield, and many guests whom he introduced one by one to the audience in short speeches. These worthies delivered harangues on the subject of horses and their uses; and the speeches were really very respectable, and not too long, but were delivered in general with a strong nasal twang. There were persons from all parts of America; Ohio, Carolina, &c. &c.
We made out our night tolerably well, and next morning went to look at the arsenal, and depot of arms, and were shown over the place by a person connected with the establishment, who was most civil and obliging in explaining the nature of all we saw. The view from the tower was most lovely. The panorama was encircled by high hills, clothed with wood; and the town, and many villages and churches, all of dazzling whiteness, lay scattered before the eye. We drove next to the Horse Fair, which was very well arranged. There was a circus of half a mile, forming a wide carriage road, on which horses were ridden or driven, to show off their merits. The quickest trotted at the rate of twenty miles an hour. When the horses were driven in pairs, the driver held a rein in each hand. There was a platform at one end filled with well-conducted people, and a judge's seat near it. The horses in single-harness went faster even than those in pairs: one horse, called Ethan Allen, performing about twenty-four miles an hour; though Edward may arrive nearer than this "about," by calculating at the rate of two minutes and thirty-seven seconds, in which it went twice round this circle. The owner of this horse has refused $15,000 or 3000l. for it. It is said to be the fastest horse in America, and a beautiful animal, but most of the horses were very fine. The people seemed to enjoy themselves much, and all appeared most quiet and decorous, but the whole population surprised us in this respect. We have seen but one drunken man since we landed. Even in our new cabaret, the opening of which might have given occasion for a carousal, every thing was most orderly. Our landlord, however, seemed very full of the importance of his position, and could think and talk of nothing but of this said cabaret. Their phraseology, is often very odd. In the evening, he said, "Now, will you like your dinner right away?" As we walked along the streets, and tried to get a room elsewhere, a man said, smacking his hands together, "No, they are already threbled in every room."
But I must now tell you of our journey from Springfield to Albany: the distance between the two is exactly 100 miles; Boston being 200 from Albany. We left Springfield by train at twelve o'clock, and reached Pittsfield, a distance of fifty miles, at half-past two. This part of the road presented a succession of beautiful views. Your sisters will remember that part of the road near Chaudes Fontaines, where it runs through the valley, and crosses the Vesdre every five minutes. If they can imagine this part of it extended for fifty miles, and on a much larger scale, they may form some notion of what we saw. The railway crossed the river at least thirty times, so we had it on the right hand and left hand alternately, as on that little bit in Belgium. The river, called the Westfield, was very rapid in places, and the water, when deep, almost of a rich coffee colour. At Pittsfield we got on to the plateau which separates the Connecticut River and the Hudson. The plain is elevated more than 1000 feet above the sea. We then began rapidly to descend. The country was still as pretty as before, but more open, with hills in the back-ground, for till we reached Pittsfield these were close to us, and beautifully wooded to the top. At Pittsfield, in the centre of the town, there is a very large elm tree, the elm being the great tree of the country, but this surpassed all its neighbours, its height being 120 feet, and the stem 90 feet before any branches sprang from it.
We reached Albany at five o'clock; and a most beautiful town it is. The great street, as well as one at right angles to it leading up to the Capitol, is wider, I think, than any street we ever saw; and the shops on both sides are very splendid. The hotel is very large and good; but, alas! instead of our dear darkies at Newport, we had some twenty pale-faced damsels to wait at table, all dressed alike in pink cottons, their bare necks much displayed in front, with large white collars, two little frills to form the short sleeves, large, bare, clean, white arms, and short white aprons not reaching to the knees. They had no caps, and such a circumference of hoops! quite Yankeeish in their style; and most careless, flirtatious-looking and impertinent in their manners. We were quite disgusted with them; and even papa could not defend any one of them. We were naturally very badly waited upon; they sailing majestically about the room instead of rushing to get what we wanted, as the niggers at Newport did. Men-servants answered the bed-room bells, and brought our hot water; the ladies being employed only as waiters.
This morning the fine weather we had hitherto enjoyed began to fail us, as it rained in torrents. Notwithstanding this, we started at half-past seven; passing through what in sunshine must be a lovely country, to Utica on the New York Central Railway, and thence by a branch railway of fifteen miles to Trenton Falls. The country was much more cultivated than any we have yet seen. There were large fields of Indian corn, and many of another kind, called broom corn, being grown only to make brooms. We passed many fields of a brilliant orange-red pumpkin, which, when cooked, looks something like mashed turnips, and is called squash: it is very delicate and nice. But beautiful as the country was, even in the rain, we soon found out that we had left New England and its bright-looking wooden houses. The material of which the houses are built remains the same; but instead of being painted, and looking trim and neat as in New England, they consisted of the natural unpainted wood; though twelve hours of pouring rain may have made them more melancholy-looking than usual; for they were all of a dingy brown, and had a look bordering on poverty and dilapidation in some instances, to which we were quite unaccustomed.
On reaching this place we found the hotel was closed for the season; but rooms had been secured in a very fair country inn, where we had a tolerable dinner. We were glad to see the rain gradually cease; and the promise of a fine afternoon caused us to sally out as soon after dinner as we could to see the falls. These are very beautiful: they are formed by a tributary of the Mohawk River, along the banks of which (of the Mohawk itself I mean) our railway this morning passed for about forty miles. The Erie Canal, a most celebrated work, is carried along the other bank of the river; so that, during all this distance, the river, the railway, and the canal were running parallel to each other, and not a pistol shot across the three. We had been warned by some Swiss friends at Newport against carelessness and rashness in walking along the narrow ledge cut in the face of the rock, so we took a guide and found the pass very slippery from the heavy rain. The amiable young guide took possession of me, and for a time I got on tolerably well, clinging to the chain which in places was fastened against the face of the rock; but as the path narrowed, my head began to spin, and as the guide discouraged me, under these circumstances, from going any further, I turned back with Thrower and regained dry land, while the rest of the party were accomplishing their difficult task. They returned much sooner than we expected, delighted with all they had seen, though papa said I was right not to have pursued the narrow ledge. He then took me through a delightful wood to the head of the falls, where a seat in a little summer-house enabled me to enjoy the lovely scene. The river takes three leaps over rocks, the highest about 40 feet; though in two miles the descent is 312 feet. Beautifully wooded rocks rise up on either side; and the sunshine this afternoon lighting up the wet leaves added to the beauty of the scene. We scrambled down from the summer-house to the bed of the river, and walked on to the foot of the upper fall; which, though not so high as the others, was very pretty. In returning home we had glimpses of the falls through the trees. Many of the firs and maples are of a great height, rising an immense way without any branches, reminding us of the oaks at Fontainebleau.
We had to change our damp clothes on our return to the inn; and after partaking of tea-cakes, stewed pears, and honey, I am now sitting in the public room in my white dressing-gown. This toilette, I have no doubt, is thought quite en regle, for white dresses are much worn in America; and the company here this evening is not very refined or capable of appreciating the points in which mine may be deficient. There is dancing at the great hotel every night in the season; but that is now over. Some sad accidents have happened here, by falls over the precipice into the river. The last occurred this year, when a young boy of eight, a twin son of a family staying here, from New York, was drowned: but these accidents, we are told, generally happen in the safest places from carelessness. We go on, to-morrow, probably to Rochester, where there are some pretty small falls; and on Saturday, the 17th, we hope to reach Niagara, from whence this letter is to be posted for England.
A nigger, and our guide of this afternoon, have just seated themselves in the corner of the drawing room where I am writing, and are playing, one the fiddle, and the other the guitar. Perhaps they are trying to get up a "hop," later, but there do not seem materials enough for it, and their tune is at present squeaky—jerky—with an attempt at an adagio. The nigger is now playing "Comin' thro' the Rye," with much expression, both of face and fiddle! Oh, such, squeaks! I wish Louisa heard them. Here come the variations with accompaniment of guitar.—Later.—The nigger is now singing plaintive love ditties!
International Hotel, Niagara Falls, September 18th.—We had gone from the station at Trenton to Trenton Falls in a close, lumbering, heavy coach, which is of very ordinary use in America. But yesterday morning we went over the same ground in an omnibus, which allowed us to see the great beauty of the country to perfection; and, although we had occasional heavy showers, the day was, on the whole, much more propitious for travelling, as the atmosphere was very clear, and the sandy dust was laid. We returned to Utica, or "Utikay," as they call it, and, having an hour to spare, went and saw the State Lunatic Asylum; but there was not much to remark upon it, although everything, as seems generally the case in this country, was very orderly and well kept.
The building, however, was not seen to advantage, as a very large portion of it was burnt down last year, and the new buildings were not entirely finished. The gentleman who showed us round was very attentive, and gave us a report of the establishment, which shows how creditably every one acted in the trying emergency of the fire. He gave us, also, two numbers of a little periodical, which is written and published by the inmates.
We left Utica soon after eleven, and came on to Syracuse, through a well wooded and better cultivated country than we have yet passed. The aspect of the country is varied by fields of Indian corn, and tracts of burnt and charred stumps of trees, the remains of burnt forests. These stumps are left for some time to rot in the ground, and a few taller stems, without branches, are left standing, giving the whole a forlorn appearance but for the thought that the land will soon be cultivated and return a great produce; were it not for this, one would regret the loss of the trees, which are turned everywhere here to good account. The houses and cottages are all wood. The hurdles, used everywhere instead of hedges, are wood. The floorings of both the large and small stations are wood, worn to shreds, sometimes, by the tramp of feet. The engine burns wood. The forests are burnt to get rid of the wood. Long and enormous stacks of wood line the road continually, and often obstruct the view. All this made our journey to Syracuse, though interesting, much tamer than on the preceding days. An accident happened to the boiler, which detained us at Rome, but, as we were luckily near the station, we soon got another engine. On the whole, one travels with quite as great a feeling of security as in England.
From Syracuse to Rochester there are two roads, one short and direct, and another, which, by taking a southern direction, passes through Auburn, Cayuga, Geneva, and Canandaigua. We were well repaid by taking the longer route, as the road went round the heads of the lakes, and in one case, indeed, crossed the head of the lake where these beautiful little towns are situated. The views of all these lakes, but especially of lake Cayuga, and of lake Seneca on which Geneva is situated, are very lovely. They stretch "right away" between high banks, varying from two to five miles apart, each forming a beautiful vista, closed up by distant blue hills at the further end. These lakes vary from thirty to forty miles in length, and by means of steamboats form an easy communication, though a more tedious one than the railways, between this and the southern part of the State of New York. We had a capital cicerone to explain all that we saw as we went along, in a Yankee, who told us he was "raised" in these parts, though he lived in "Virginny." He looked like a small farmer, but had a countenance of the keenest intelligence. He told papa, before he had spoken five minutes with him, that it was quite right a person of his intelligence should come to this country. When we came to Auburn, he quoted "'Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain;' a beautiful poem, sir, written by Goldsmith, one of your own poets." We told him we thought of going to St. Paul, beyond the Mississippi, when he said, "Oh yes! that's a new country—that's a cold country too. If you are there in the winter, it will make you snap."
At Rochester we stopped for an hour to dine. We had intended to sleep there, but none of us being tired, we changed our plan in order to come on here last night. During this hour we went to see the Falls of the Genessee, which in some respects surpassed Trenton, as the river is very broad, and falls in one sheet, from a height of ninety-six feet, over a perpendicular wall of rock. We dined, and then papa and I took a rapid walk to the post office, to post a letter to Alfred O., at Toronto. The streets, as usual, were very wide, with spacious "stores" running very far back, as they all seem to do in America. I asked when the letter would reach Toronto, and the man answered, "It ought to do so to-morrow, but it is uncertain when it will." Papa asked our guide from the hotel where he was "raised," (papa is getting quite a Yankee), to which he replied, "in Ireland." I slept, wonderful to say, through part of our journey here, in one of those most uncomfortable cars, but woke up as we approached the station. The night was splendid (we had seen the comet at Rochester), and the moon was so bright as to make it almost as light as day; you may imagine our excitement when we saw, in the distance, rising above the trees, a light cloud of mist from the Falls of Niagara.?
Clifton House, September 18th.—Papa got into a melancholy mood at the International Hotel yesterday evening, on account of the hotel being an enormous one, and like a huge barrack; half of it we suspect is shut up, for they gave us small room au second, though they acknowledged they made up four hundred beds, and had only one hundred guests in the house. The dining room was about one hundred and fifty feet long, and the hotel was half in darkness from the lateness of the hour, and had no view of the Falls; so papa got more and more miserable, and I could only comfort him by reminding him we could be off to this hotel early in the morning; for as it is the fashion to try first one side for the view, and then the other, there was no offence in going from the United States to our own English possessions. On this he cheered up and we went out, and the first sight we got of this glorious river was at about eleven o'clock, when he insisted upon my passing over the bridge to Goat Island. It was the most lovely moonlight night conceivable, and the beams lit up the crests of the foaming waves as they came boiling over the rapids. It was a glorious sight, though I was rather frightened, not knowing what perils might be in store for us.
To-day we made out our move to the Canada side, and are most comfortably lodged. Before coming to this hotel, we took a long drive down the river, on the American side. We got out of the carriage to see the Devil's Hole, a deep ravine, often full of water, but now dry. We stood on a high precipice, and had a grand view of the river. The river is generally passed over in silence in all descriptions of Niagara, and yet it is one of the most lovely parts of the scene. Its colour after it has left the Falls, and proceeds on its rapid way, full of life and animation, to Lake Ontario, is a most tender sea green. We drove on about six miles, and then crossed a slight suspension bridge (the suspension bridge being a ponderous structure for the railroad trains to pass over); but the one by which we crossed looked like a spider's-web; and the view midway, whether we looked up or down, was the finest specimen of river scenery I ever beheld. We then turned up the stream, and came by the English side to a most wonderful whirlpool, formed by the river making a rapid bend, and proceeding in a course at right angles to the one it had been previously pursuing; but the violence of the stream had caused it to proceed a long way first in the original direction; and it was evidently not till it had scooped, or hollowed out, a large basin, that it was forced to yield to the barrier that was opposed to it. This is the sort of bend it takes.
After dinner we went to deliver a letter which papa had brought for Mr. Street, who has a house above the Falls. He was not at home; but we went through the grounds and over a suspension bridge he has built to connect a large island, also his property, with the mainland. There are, in fact, not one but many islands, into which one large one has probably, in the course of time, become divided by the raging torrent. It is just above the Horse-Shoe Fall, in the midst of the most boisterous part of the rapids; and it was quite sublime on looking up the river to see the horizon formed at a considerable level above our heads by the mass of foaming water. But now for the Falls!
* * * * *
You must fill up this blank with your imagination, for no words can convey any idea of the scene. They far surpass anything we could have believed of them. This, however, I write after a thorough study of them from various points of view; for when we first caught a glimpse, in our drive to-day, of the Fall on the American side, it disappointed us; but from the verandah of this hotel, on which our bed-room windows open, we had the first astounding view of the two Falls, with Goat Island dividing them; and that sight baffles all description. The Horse-Shoe Fall is magnificent. The curve is so graceful and beautiful; and the mist so mysterious, rising, as it does, from the depths below, and presenting the appearance of a moving veil as it glides past, whether yielding to every breath of wind, or, as now, when driven quickly by a gale; then the height of the clouds of light white mist rising above the trees; and, above all, the delicate emerald green where the curve itself takes place: all these elements of beauty combined, fill the mind with wonder, when contemplating so glorious a work of God's hand; so simple, and yet so striking and magnificent. We can gaze at the whole all day and all night, if we please, from our own windows. The moon being nearly full, is a great addition to the beauty of the scene. I have frequently risen from my seat while writing this, to look first at the rapids above the American Fall, lit up and shining like the brightest silver; then at the moon on the mist, illuminating first one part of it and then another. I must proceed with my description of our doings (if I can) on Monday, before leaving this for Toronto, which we are to do on Monday afternoon; but this must be posted here, and I should like to finish my description of Niagara in this letter. We met a real Indian to-day. He had somewhat of a Chinese cast of countenance. Perhaps we shall see more of them. It is said that some of the black waiters in this hotel are escaped slaves, having come to English ground for safety.
September 19th.—This being Sunday, we went to a chapel in a village of native Indians of the Tuscarrara tribe. The chapel was about half filled with these poor Indians and half with visitors like ourselves. They have had a missionary among them for about fifty years, and it is to be hoped that former missionaries talked more sense to them, and taught them better truths, than the one we heard to-day. His sermon was both long and tedious, and was interpreted into the Tuscarrara language sentence by sentence as the preacher, who was a Presbyterian, delivered it. The burden of it was their ingratitude, not to God, but to the Government of the United States, which had devoted an untold number of dollars for their conversion; and he ended by a threat that this generosity on their part would be withdrawn if they did not alter their wicked course of life. As we were there for half an hour before the service began, we had an opportunity of conversing with many of these poor people, who seemed little to deserve this severe censure, for many of them had evidently come from a distance, having brought their food with them, and the people seemed of a quiet and harmless disposition. Few of them seemed to understand English, and these only the men, as the women professed, at least, not to understand papa when he tried to talk to them. They had all of them remarkably piercing and intelligent black eyes, but were not otherwise good looking. There were two little babies in their mothers' arms, one in a bright yellow dress. The women wore handkerchiefs tied over their heads, except one or two who wore round hats and feathers. Some in hoops and crinolines! All wore bead necklaces. They are the makers of the well-known mohair and bark and beadwork. In the churchyard were many tombstones with English inscriptions. The following is the copy we made of one:—
"SEKWARIHTHICH-DEA WM. CHEW,
GRAND SACHEM OF THE TUSCARRARA NATION OF INDIANS,
WHO DIED DEC. 16, 1857,
In the 61st year of his age.
The memory of his many virtues will be embalmed in the hearts of his people, and posterity will speak of his praise.
He was a good man, and a just.
He held the office of Grand Sachem 30 years, and was Missionary Interpreter 29 years."
After chapel we returned to the American side of the Fall, where the table d'hote dinner was later than at the Clifton Hotel, which we had missed. While waiting for dinner, we went again to Goat Island, and had some splendid views of the Falls, the day being magnificent beyond all description. Papa and William afterwards took a long walk to get a new view of the whirlpool. Papa has made me dreadfully anxious all day by going too close to the edges of the precipices; and as the rock is very brittle and easily crumbles off, and as his feet often trip in walking, you may suppose the agonies I have been in; at last I began to wish myself and him safe in the streets of Toronto. I was not the least frightened for myself, but it was trying to see him always looking over, and about to lean against old crazy wooden balustrades that William said must have given way from sheer rottenness with any weight upon them. This is such a night, not a single cloud; the clearest possible sky and the moon shining brightly, as it did over the two Falls the first night we were here. Papa calls me every minute—"Oh come, do come, this minute; I do not believe you have ever yet seen the Falls!!!" To-morrow we have one remaining expedition,—to go in a small steamer called the "Maid of the Mist," which pokes her nose into the two Falls about six times a day. The passengers are put into waterproof dresses. This I hope to describe to you to-morrow, and shall despatch my letter before starting for Toronto.
 My English maid.
 The Erie Canal is one of the three great means of communication which existed previous to the introduction of railways between the Eastern States and those that lie to the west of the Alleghanies; the other two being the Pennsylvania and the Baltimore and Ohio Canals. Sections of these great works are shown on the map.
NIAGARA.—MAID OF THE MIST.—ARRIVAL AT TORONTO.—TORONTO.—THOUSAND ISLANDS.—RAPIDS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE.—MONTREAL.—VICTORIA BRIDGE.
Clifton Hotel, Falls of Niagara, Sept. 20th, 1858.
I intended to have wound up the description of Niagara in the letter I despatched to you two hours ago, but we returned home from our expedition this morning only five minutes before the post hour for England, so that our packet had to be hastily closed.
We had rather a chapter of accidents this morning, but all has ended well. We went out immediately after breakfast, the weather being splendid, though there was a high wind, and finding the mist driving very hard, we decided on going over to the opposite shore across the suspension bridge, rather than be ferried over to the steamer in a small open boat, which can never, I imagine, be very pleasant in such a near neighbourhood to the two Falls. William, however, remained on this side, preferring the ferry, and we were to meet on the opposite bank and take to the little steamer; but though our drive took half-an-hour and his row five minutes, he was not at the place of rendezvous when, we arrived, nor did he appear after we had waited for him some time. Papa then went in a sort of open car down an inclined plane, contrived to save the fatigue of a long stair. On getting to the bottom he saw nothing of William, and in walking on the wet planks he slipped down and fell on his side, and cut his face and bruised his eye; he says his eye was within a hair's breadth of being put out by the sharp corner of a rock. He walked up the long stair, being too giddy after his fall to attempt the car, and he felt very headachy and unwell in consequence all the morning. At last William made his appearance. There had been no ferryman for a long time, and when he came he knew so little how to manage the boat, that had not William rowed they would have been down the river and over the rapids! At last we all four (Thrower included), started down the inclined plane to the steamer, and were warned by papa's tumble to take care of our footing. It might easily be made a more pleasant landing-place than it is by means of their everlasting wood. We got on to the "Maid of the Mist," and were made to take off our bonnets and hats, and put on a sort of waterproof capuchin cloak and hood, and up we went on deck. In one moment we were drenched; the deck was a running sea, and the mist drove upon us much harder than pouring rain. I went there with a cold, and if it gets no worse, shall think fresh water is as innocuous as salt. It was quite a question whether the thing was worth doing: the day was probably unfavourable, as the mist drove on us instead of the other way, but some parts were very fine. We returned to the same landing-place, as they most stupidly have none on this side; so up we went again in the open cars, and on landing we had our photographs done twice with views of the Falls as a background. They were very well and rapidly done. We then drove William towards the Cave of the Winds, which is a passage behind what looks from these windows a mere thread of a waterfall, but is really a very considerable one. Ladies, however, perform this feat as well as gentlemen, but they have entirely to change their dress—it is like walking through a great shower-bath to a cul de sac in the rock. Circular rainbows are seen here, and William saw two; he seemed to be standing on one which made a perfect circle round him. A certificate was given him of his having accomplished this feat. While he was doing this we bought a few things made by the Indians and the Shakers, and then met William, and hurried home in time only to sign and despatch our letters to England. We then dined, and I am now obliged suddenly to stop short in writing, as my despatch-box must be packed, for we leave this at half-past four for Toronto.
Rossin House, Toronto, Sept. 21st.—Our journey here yesterday was not through as pretty a country as usual, and this part of Canada strikes us as much tamer than anything we have yet seen in America. We changed trains at Hamilton and remained there nearly an hour. Sir Allan McNab has a country house in the neighbourhood, said to be a very pretty one, and we shall probably go in the train to-morrow to see him. The railroad, for some time towards the end of our journey yesterday, ran along the shore of Lake Ontario. The sky was pure and clear, with the moon shining brightly on the waters of the quiet lake. It was difficult to believe that the immense expanse of water was not salt. It looked so like the sea, especially when within a few miles of Toronto we saw tiny waves and minute pebbles and sand, which gave it an appearance of a miniature sea beach. Had I not been on a railway when I saw these small pebbles, I should have picked up some for you, and I think you would have valued them as much as your cornelians at Cromer. I searched for them later, and never came up with such a pretty pebbly beach again.
Montreal, Sept. 25th.—Unhappily this sheet has been packed up by mistake for some days, and I have not been able to go on with my journal, but I resume it this evening, for it must be despatched to you the day after to-morrow.
We passed the 22nd and 23rd at Toronto, and had much pleasure there in seeing a great deal of the Alfred O.'s, and their very nice children, and it was quite touching to see the pleasure our visit gave them. We had the sorrow, however, of parting from William, who left us on the morning of the 23rd for the Far West. He went with Mr. Latham and Mr. Kilburn, and it was a very great comfort to us that he had such pleasant companions, instead of travelling such a distance alone. We had an early visit at Toronto from Mr. and Mrs. W., friends of the O.'s: they begged us so earnestly to remain over the 23rd to dine with them, that we consented to do so. Toronto is a most melancholy-looking place. It has suffered in the "crisis," and the consequence is that wide streets seem to have been begun but never finished, giving the town a very disastrous look. There is one wide handsome street with good shops, and our hotel was an enormous one; but when this is said, there is little more to add about it, for it looks otherwise very forlorn, and altogether the town is the least inviting one we have yet seen in our travels.
In the course of our drive we had an opportunity of seeing the interiors of some of the houses, many of which display considerable wealth; the rooms being large, and filled with ornaments of every sort. The ladies dress magnificently; a handsome coral brooch is often worn, and is almost an infallible sign, both here and in the United States, of a tour to Italy having been accomplished; indeed I can feel nearly as certain that the wearer has travelled so far, by seeing her collar fastened with it, as if she told me the fact, and many such journeys must have been performed, judging by the number of coral brooches we see.
We did little the first day but drive about the streets. We drank tea at the A. O.'s, and the next day they took us to see one very beautiful sight; the New University, which is in course of building, and is the most beautiful structure we have seen in America. Indeed it is the only one which makes the least attempt at Mediaeval architecture, and is a very correct specimen of the twelfth century. The funds for building this university arise out of the misappropriation (by secularising them) of the clergy reserves; the lands appropriated to the college giving them possession of funds to the amount of about three hundred thousand pounds. Of this the building, it is supposed, will absorb about one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, and they propose to lay out a large sum to increase an already very good library, which is rich in works on natural history and English topography. Dr. McCaul, who is the president of the college, is a brother of the preacher in London.
We dined at the W.'s on the evening of the 23rd. Their house is very large, having been lately added to, and the town being very busy, preparing for an Agricultural Meeting, the upholsterer had not time to put down the carpets or put up the curtains, and the night being cold, we felt a little twinge of what a Canadian winter is; but the drawing-rooms were exceedingly pretty,—the walls being very light stucco, with ornaments in relief, and they were brilliantly lighted. We were eighteen at dinner, the party including the O.'s, the Mayor, Dr. and Mrs. McCaul, and Sir Allan McNab, who had come from his country-place to meet us. The dinner was as well appointed, in all respects, as if it had taken place in London. In the evening Mrs. W. sang "Where the bee sucks" most beautifully. Papa encored it, and was quite delighted at hearing so favourite a song so well sung. The mayoress also sang, and so did another lady. The furniture of the rooms was of American oak and black walnut, which are favourite woods; but we did not much admire them. When we were leaving, Mrs. W. showed us her bed-room, which was really splendid,—so spacious, and so beautifully furnished; there was a bath-room near it, and other bed-rooms also of large dimensions. We drove back to our hotel in the moonlight, so bright and clear that it was difficult not to suppose it daylight, except that the planets were so brilliant.
We took leave that night of the O.'s, as we had to make an early start next day, and were very sorry to part from them. On the 24th, we were off at eight in the morning by train to Kingston, arriving there early in the afternoon. It is the best sleeping-place between Toronto and Montreal. The road was uninteresting, though at times we came upon the broad waters of the lake, which varied the scenery. We had an excellent dinner at the station, and I ought to mention, that as we were travelling on the Grand Trunk Railway, and on English soil, we had first class carriages; there being both first and second class on this line, but varying only in the softness of the seats. There was no other difference from other lines.
Kingston is a prosperous little town on the borders of the lake, and the hotel quite a small country inn. We drove out to see the Penitentiary, or prison, for the whole of the Two Canadas,—a most massive stone structure. I never was within prison-walls before, so that I cannot compare it with others; but, though papa had much admired the prison at Boston, he preferred the principle of giving the prisoners work in public (which is the case at Kingston), to the solitary system at Boston. We saw the men hard at work making furniture, and in the blacksmith's forge, and making an enormous quantity of boots; they work ten hours a day in total silence, and all had a subdued look; but we were glad to think they had employment, and could see each other. Their food is excellent,—a good meat diet, and the best bread. The sleeping-places seemed to us dreadful little solitary dens, though the man who showed us over them said they were better than they would have had on board ship. There were sixty female prisoners employed in making the men's clothes, but these we were not allowed to see. One lady is permitted to visit them, in order to give them religious instruction, but they do not otherwise see the visitors to the prison. There are prisoners of all religious denominations, a good many being Roman Catholics; and there are chaplains to suit their creeds, and morning and evening prayers.
We walked back to Kingston, and on the walls observed notices of a meeting to be held in the town that evening, to remonstrate against the work done by the prisoners, which is said to injure trade; but, as we were to make a very early start in the morning, we did not go to it.
We were called at half-past four to be ready for the boat which started at six for Montreal. It was a rainy morning, and I awoke in a rather depressed state of mind, with the prospect before me of having to descend the rapids of the St. Lawrence in the steamer; and as the captain of our vessel in crossing the Atlantic had said, he was not a little nervous at going down them, I thought I might be so too. We had first, however, to go through the Thousand Islands, which sounds very romantic, but turned out rather a failure. There are in reality about 1,400 of these islands, where the river St. Lawrence issues from Lake Ontario. The morning was unpropitious, it being very rainy, and this, no doubt, helped to give them a dismal appearance. They are of all forms and sizes, some three miles long, and some hardly appearing above the water. The disappointment to us was their flatness, and their all being alike in their general aspect, being covered with light wood. When this is lit up by the sun, they are probably very pretty, as we experienced later in the day, which turned out to be a most brilliant one. The islands are generally uninhabited, except by wild ducks, deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, musk-rats, and minxes, and also by partridges in abundance. We have tasted the wild duck, which is very good.
About one o'clock in the day we lost sight of the islands, except a few, which occasionally are scattered along the river; we had no longer however to thread our way among them, as we had done earlier in the day. Dinner was at two, but we were not much disposed to go down, for we had just passed one rapid, and were coming to the finest of all, the Cedars; but they turned out to be by no means alarming to an unpractised eye. The water is much disturbed, and full of small crests of waves. There were four men at the wheel, besides four at the tiller, and they had no doubt to keep a sharp look out; we stood on deck, and received a good sea in our faces, and were much excited by the scene. The longest rapid occupied us about twenty minutes, being nine miles long. It is called the Long Sault. The banks on either side continued flat; we stopped occasionally at pretty little villages to take in passengers or wood, but these stoppages told much against our progress, and the days now being short, we were informed that the vessel could not reach Montreal that night. There is a rapid a few miles above Montreal, which is the most dangerous of them all, and cannot be passed in the dark. The boat, therefore, stopped at La Chine for the night, and we had our choice of sleeping on board or landing and taking the train for eight miles to Montreal; and as we had seen all the rest of the rapids, and did not feel much disposed for the pleasure of a night in a small cabin, we decided on landing. We had tea first, with plenty of cold meat on the table, and the fare was excellent on board, with no extra charge for it.
Before landing we had a most magnificent sunset. The sun sank at the stern of the vessel; and the sky remained for an hour after in the most exquisite shades of colouring, from clear blue, shading to a pale green, and then to a most glorious golden colour. The water was of the deepest blue, and the great width of the noble river added to the grandeur of the scene. The Canadian evenings and nights are surpassingly beautiful. The atmosphere is so light, and the colouring of the sunset and the bright light of the moon are beyond all description. We made acquaintance with a couple of Yankees on board, who amused us much. They were a young couple, travelling, they said, for pleasure. They looked of the middle class, and were an amusing specimen of Yankee vulgarity. The lady's expression for admiration was "ullegant:" the dinner was "ullegant," the sunset was "ullegant," and so was the moonrise, and so were the corn-cakes and corn-pops fixed by herself or her mother. She was delighted with the bead bracelet I was making, and I gave her a pattern of the beads. She was astonished to find that the English made the electric cable. She and her husband mean to go to England and Scotland in two years. I was obliged to prepare her for bad hotels and thick atmosphere, at both of which she seemed astonished. She was also much surprised that she would not find Negro waiters in London. They remained on board for the night; and on meeting her in the street yesterday, she assured us the last rapid was "ullegant," and that we had missed much in not seeing it.
We arrived at Montreal at eight o'clock on the evening of the 24th, and walked a little about the town. The moon was so bright that colours could be clearly distinguished. We yesterday spent many hours on the Victoria bridge which is building here across the river in connection with the Grand Trunk Railway. It is a most wonderful work, and I must refer you to an interesting article in the last Edinburgh Review for a full account of it. Papa had letters to the chief officials of the railway, which procured us the advantage of being shown the work in every detail by Mr. Hodges (an Englishman), who has undertaken the superintendence of it—the plans having been given him by Stephenson. The expense will be enormous—about a million and a quarter sterling; almost all raised in England. The great difficulties to be contended with are:—the width of the river—it being two miles wide at this point; its rapidity—the current running at the rate of seven miles an hour; and the enormous masses of ice which accumulate in the river in the winter; rising as high sometimes as the houses on either side, and then bursting their bounds and covering the road. The stone piers are built with a view to resist as much as possible this pressure; and a great number of them are finished, and have never yet received a scratch from the ice, which is satisfactory. Their profile is of this form. And this knife-like edge cuts the ice through as it passes down the river, enabling the blocks to divide at the piers and pass under the bridge on each side. The piers are built of limestone, in blocks varying from eight to ten feet high: but in sinking a foundation for them, springs are frequently met with under some large boulders in the bed of the river, and this causes great delay, as the water has to be pumped out before the building can proceed. The bridge will be an iron tubular one; the tubes come out from Birkenhead in pieces, and are riveted together here. We first rowed across the river with Mr. Hodges in a six-oared boat; and the day being warm and very fine, we enjoyed it much. This gave us some idea of the breadth of the river and of the length of the bridge, of which it is impossible to judge when seen fore-shortened from the shore.
We then mounted the bridge and were astonished at the magnitude of the work. There is an immense forest of woodwork underneath most of it at present, but they are glad to clear this away as fast as the progress of the upper work admits, as if left till winter the force of the ice cuts through these enormous beams as if they were straw. We could only proceed across two piers at the end furthest from the town, but here we had a very fine view of Montreal, lying at the foot of the hill from which it takes its name. It has many large churches, the largest being the Roman Catholic cathedral, and the tin roofs of the houses and churches glittered in the sun and gave a brilliant effect. We returned to the boat and rowed again across the river below the bridge, and here, owing to the strength of the current our boat had to pursue a most zig-zag path, pulling up under the eddy of each buttress, but our boatmen knew well what they were about, as they are in the habit of taking Mr. Hodges daily to the bridge and it was very pretty to hear the warning of doucement! doucement! from the helmsman as we approached any peril. Mr. H. said that without the familiarity they had with the river, the boat would in an instant be carried down the stream and out of all control. The French language is much more spoken than the English, there being a large body of French Roman Catholic Canadians here and at Quebec. I say this to account for the doucement; but must now leave this wonderful bridge, and tell you that after seeing it we drove to the Bishop of Montreal's. We found him and Mrs. Fulford at home, and sat some time with them, and they asked us to drink tea with them, which we did. There was no one there but ourselves, and we passed an agreeable evening with them, and came home by moonlight with the comet also beaming on us.
September 27th.—We went yesterday morning to a small church in the suburbs where the bishop preached. We found Lord and Lady Radstock in the hotel, and papa walked with him in the afternoon, and endeavoured to learn something of the Christian Young Men's Association here. They found the secretary at home, and from him learnt that the revivals of religion here have lately been of a satisfactory nature, and that there is a great deal of religious feeling at work among the middle classes. I forgot to mention that on Saturday we met a long procession of nuns going to the church of Notre Dame, which gave the place a very foreign look. We went into the church for a few minutes. It was very large, part of it was well filled, and a French sermon going on. There are a good many convents here, and I shall try to visit one. The Jesuits are said to be very busy. We hear French constantly spoken in the streets. We went to church again yesterday evening, when the bishop preached on the text, "Demas hath forsaken me."
To-day we took Lord and Lady Radstock to Mr. Hodges, who promised to show them over the bridge, and since that papa and I have had a pleasant drive round the mountain. From one part we had a good view of the Ottawa river, celebrated by Moore, who wrote his Canadian boat song in a canoe on the rapids of that river. The town of Ottawa has been named by the Queen as the seat of Government; but after consulting her on the subject, the inhabitants seem disinclined to take her advice. The views were very pretty, and the day warm and pleasant. As we drove we frequently saw on the walls, large placards with a single text in French or English, an evidence of the work of the revival going on here. We wound up our visit to Montreal by buying some furs, this being the best place to get them: they are to be shipped from here in a sailing vessel, and therefore will not reach London for some time, but notice will be sent of their coming; so be on the look out for them some day. We are off this afternoon for Quebec, where we hope to find some good news from you all. So adieu, my dear child.
JOURNEY FROM MONTREAL TO QUEBEC.—QUEBEC.—FALLS OF MONTMORENCY.—ISLAND POND.—WHITE MOUNTAINS.—PORTLAND.—RETURN TO BOSTON.—HARVARD UNIVERSITY.—NEWHAVEN.—YALE UNIVERSITY.—RETURN TO NEW YORK.
Portland Maine, Sept. 29th, 1858.
I closed my last letter to you at Montreal, since which we have been travelling so much that I have had no time for writing till to-night. I must now, therefore, endeavour to resume the thread of my narrative, though it is a little perplexing to do so after going over so much ground as we have done lately in a short space of time.
We left Montreal early in the afternoon of the 27th, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Bailey. He is one of the managers of the Grand Trunk Railway, and came with us as far as Quebec, as a sort of guard of honour or escort, papa having been specially commended to the care of the employes on this line. Both he and his wife are English. We crossed the St. Lawrence in a steam-ferry to join the railway, and as long as it was light we had a most delightful journey through a highly cultivated country, covered with small farms, which came in quick succession on both sides of the road. These farms are all the property of French Canadians, and on each one there is a wooden dwelling-house, with barns and out-houses attached to it, and the land runs down from the front of the tenement to the railroad. There is no hedge to be seen anywhere, and these long strips of fields looked very like allotment lands in England, though on a larger scale. These proprietors have been possessors of the soil from the time of the first settlement of the French in Canada, and the farms have suffered from the subdivision of property consequent on the French law of succession. They are so close together that, when seen at a distance, the houses look like a continuous line of street as far as the eye can reach, but we soon lost sight of them in the obscurity occasioned by forests and the approach of night. We passed many log huts, which, though very rude, do not seem uncomfortable dwellings.